Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Life in the New Economy

Have you lost your job or been downsized to part-time status? You may have thought having less work, you would have more time for an exercise program, taking up a forgotten hobby, or visiting friends and relatives. As you start putting more time into being greener, eating healthy, renewing, reusing and recycling, doing more for yourself around the home front and buying or bartering and trading you find they all take time and energy. Even though some of these activities do not make you the big money that you used to get in the old economy, they directly benefit your life, especially in the long run. At least generally, they are exercise.
We, as Americans especially, but as the capitalistic world in general have paid far too much attention the the gross numbers, GDP, Gross Profit, Gross margin, gross income. We need to start looking at the NET. When you start looking at the net, big picture wise, you start to realize that instead of merely acting for your body, or even your family is way too limited. Too limited to even be in your own, or your family's best interest. Long term, we need a bigger sense of self. Not one that is acting for the Whole in only the Here and Now, one that is acting here and now for the Whole with respect for the past and in the interests of the Future. If we save a gallon of gas, say, we have saved the work of the drillers to find and pump it out of the ground the refiners, storage facilities and shippers and retailers that brought it to me, the financiers that make this infrastructure possible and what they would have spent their profits on etc: And we have saved that resource for the future when they will be able to use it for polymers and plastics and other things we can't imagine yet.
Will this result in an economic downturn. Gross-wise and now-wise, yes; but we get a longer lasting world with healthier people to enjoy it so net-wise we win. Do we need 3 big automakers? No, but we do need manufactures. We need insulation, windmills and turbines and solar cells and cell phone towers. If we are to depend on big SUVs less in the future, we will need light transport, public rail and CNG delivery systems. We will continue to need drill rigs and earth movers. We will need an underground superconducting super-secure electricity and data backbone. We will want Household size easy and efficient composting systems. The new economy needs a lot of new things but three big auto companies? No, sorry. Can't you learn to make some of the things we do need though? Since GM and GE both took money from the government can't they work together to manufacture the wind systems GE in already producing and using overseas? I encourage you to take the long view and not to squander the country's resources propping up the status quo which further wastes our resources by producing unneeded vehicles and jobs that do not have a net positive effect.

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